Virtual Design Festival

Lorem Ipsum's experience design shows the "power of dramatic narratives"
The Zoya museum in Petrishchevo is one of Lorem Ipsum's flagship projects

Lorem Ipsum's experience design shows the "power of dramatic narratives"

VDF studio profiles: Lorem Ipsum is a creative studio that crafts exhibitions and experiential installations, such as an audiovisual recreation of an airstrike, that fully immerse visitors in a story.

Since being founded in New York in 2000, the company has expanded to include London and Moscow offices where designers and architects, writers and filmmakers work together to plan and produce their multidisciplinary projects.

"We think of ourselves as storytellers," Lorem Ipsum said.

"We believe in the power of dramatic narratives and use words, pictures, music, artefacts, physical props, live performance, lighting, sound design, video, animation, games, social media, virtual and augmented reality to create emotional experiences."

The museum is named Zoya after a World War II guerrilla fighter

This is exemplified in one of the studio's flagship projects – the Zoya museum in the Russian village of Petrishchevo, near Moscow.

The building was designed to tell the story of the decisive Battle of Moscow in World War II.

It is named after 18-year-old guerrilla fighter Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, who burned down a local town to slow the approach of the German army before being publicly hung by the Nazis.

The Zoya museum was curated by Lorem Ipsum's co-founder and creative director, Abigail Honor, and uses original artefacts, multimedia technology and immersive installations to bring visitors closer to this history.

A recreated Soviet classroom allows visitors to explore what life was like for Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya

Their journey starts in a reimagined Soviet classroom from the 1930s where visitors can gain an insight into Kosmodemyanskaya's life, hopes and aspirations through carefully recreated artefacts such as books and notebooks.

An audiovisual spectacle, consisting of flickering blue lights and cinematic surround sound, interrupts the experience and creates the impression of being under attack by German warplanes.

Honor designed an interactive activity for visitors in which a tour guide trains them in basic military skills, much like Kosmodemyanskaya was taught when she joined the Soviet resistance groups.

The museum's tour leads visitors through a recreated forest, in which temperatures drop to match the surrounding landscape

Lorem Ipsum also recreated the Nazi-occupied Soviet village that Kosmodemyanskaya was tasked with setting ablaze. Accompanied by dramatic lighting, an audio story based on real memoirs from fellow squadron members talks visitors through her mission and her ultimate capture.

Another section of the museum includes a full-scale trench, strewn with real war artefacts and surrounded by a 120-degree wraparound screen showing an animation of approaching German tanks.

A full-scale trench put visitors at the heart of the Battle of Moscow

The final section displays hundreds of personal stories from people involved in the war, alongside an interactive recording booth that allows visitors to film themselves telling the story of their own relatives, as well as scanning their photos to be immortalised in the museum.

The aim of the exhibition design was to allow visitors to both emotionally relive this historical event, and have a space where they can reflect and consider their own family background.

Studio: Lorem Ipsum
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